Bringing Pets To Hawaii, Step 2: Vaccinations

Posted Jul 29, 2011 at 8:35pm
10 service dogs in red vests pose on concrete steps.

Service dogs, such as these from the organization Hawaii Fi-Do, need only one current rabies vaccination to enter Hawaii. All other dogs need a series of two vaccinations. (Photo credit: Beverly)

Step 1: Prohibited Animals

Step 2: Rabies Vaccinations For Dogs & Cats

For the rest of this series on “Bringing Pets To Hawaii,” I am going to assume your pets are dogs or cats, as that is the case for most people moving to Hawaii with animals. If your pet is another kind of animal, please refer to these requirements on the Department of Agriculture’s website:

If your pet is not a dog, cat, or one of the animals listed above, please call the Plant Quarantine branch of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture to find out the requirements for bringing it into the state: (808) 832-0566 or (808) 837-8413.

NOTE: If your dog or cat will be coming to Hawaii from Guam, Australia, New Zealand, or the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Jersey, and Bailiwick of Guernsey), you can skip this step completely. (Here is a complete list of other requirements for cats and dogs coming from those countries. If your pet is coming from Guam, an additional affadavit must be completed.)

If your pet meets the qualifications of a guide dog or service dog, make sure that your dog’s last rabies vaccination won’t expire until after the dog arrives in Hawaii. (For example, if your dog’s last vaccination is good for 1 year, your dog will need to arrive in Hawaii before those 12 months are over.) Once your dog has had a vaccine that won’t expire before its arrival date, you will need to get a rabies certificate from your veterinarian at least 14 days before your pet’s arrival date. The certificate should include:

  • Date that the vaccination was administered
  • Route that the vaccination was administered (subcutaneous or intramuscular)
  • The booster interval of the vaccine (e.g., 1-year, 3-year, 4-year)
  • The product or manufacturer name
  • The lot or serial number
  • The lot’s expiration date
  • The veterinarian’s original ink signature (no photocopies)

For all other dogs and cats, answer these questions:

  1. Has your dog/cat been vaccinated for rabies at least two times during its lifetime? YES: Go to #2.  NO: Skip to #10.
  2. Were those two vaccinations administered at least 30 days apart? YES: Go to #3. NO: Skip to #9.
  3. Was the most recent vaccination administered before the previous vaccination expired? (For example, if the previous vaccination was good for 1 year, was the most recent vaccination administered before those 12 months were over?) YES: Go to #4. NO: Skip to #9.
  4. Will your pet arrive in Hawaii at least 90 days after its most recent vaccination was administered? YES: Go to #5. NO: Skip to #8.
  5. Will your pet arrive in Hawaii before its most recent vaccination has expired? YES: Go to #6. NO: Skip to #7.
  6. Congratulations! Your pet meets all of the rabies vaccination requirements. Skip the rest of this list.
  7. Your pet needs one more vaccination. Make sure this vaccine won’t expire until after your pet arrives in Hawaii. Your pet’s arrival date should be at least 90 days after this vaccination, otherwise your pet will be quarantined (at your expense) until those 90 days have passed. Skip the rest of this list.
  8. Your pet’s planned arrival date in Hawaii is too early. You have two options: You can keep your pet’s arrival date as is, but your pet will be quarantined (at your expense) until 90 days have passed since its last vaccination. OR you can reschedule your pet’s arrival date so that it is at least 90 days after your pet’s last vaccination. Skip the rest of this list.
  9. Your pet needs one more vaccination that’s administered at least 30 days after the most recent vaccination. Make sure this vaccine won’t expire until after your pet arrives in Hawaii. Your pet’s arrival date should be at least 90 days after this vaccination, otherwise your pet will be quarantined (at your expense) until those 90 days have passed. Skip the rest of this list.
  10. Has your pet ever been vaccinated for rabies? YES: Go to #11. NO: Skip to #12.
  11. Your pet needs one more vaccination that’s administered at least 30 days after the most recent vaccination. Make sure this second vaccine won’t expire until after your pet arrives in Hawaii. Your pet’s arrival date should be at least 90 days after this second vaccination, otherwise your pet will be quarantined (at your expense) until those 90 days have passed. Skip the rest of this list.
  12. Your pet needs two vaccinations. The second one needs to be administered at least 30 days after the first one. Make sure the second vaccine won’t expire until after your pet arrives in Hawaii. Your pet’s arrival date should be at least 90 days after this second vaccination, otherwise your pet will be quarantined (at your expense) until those 90 days have passed.

Once your dog or cat has had two rabies vaccines that meet all of the above requirements, you’ll need to get 2 rabies certificates (one for each vaccination) from your veterinarian. Each certificate should include:

  • Date that the vaccination was administered
  • Route that the vaccination was administered (location on the animal’s body)
  • The booster interval of the vaccine (e.g., 1-year, 3-year, 4-year)
  • The product or manufacturer name
  • The lot or serial number
  • The lot’s expiration date
  • The veterinarian’s original ink signature (no photocopies)

Step 3: Microchip
Step 4: Blood Test
Step 5: Flight Booking
Step 6: Kennel
Step 7: Import Form
Step 8: Health Certificate
Step 9: Flight Prep
Step 10: Moving Day